Arkansas

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State of Arkansas
Flag of Arkansas State seal of Arkansas
Flag of Arkansas Seal
Nickname(s): The Natural State (current),
The Land of Opportunity (former)
Motto(s): Regnat Populus (The People Rule)
Map of the United States with Arkansas highlighted
Official language English
Capital Little Rock
Largest city Little Rock
Area Ranked 29th
 - Total 53,179 sq mi
(137,732 km2)
 - Width 239 miles (385 km)
 - Length 261 miles (420 km)
 - % water 2.09
 - Latitude 33°N to 36°30'N
 - Longitude 89°41'W to 94°42'W
Number of people Ranked 33nd
 - Total 2,915,918[1]
 - Density 56.0/sq mi  (21.6/km2)
Ranked 36th
Height above sea level
 - Highest point Mount Magazine[2]
2,753 ft (840 m)
 - Average 650 ft  (198 m)
 - Lowest point Ouachita River[2]
55 ft (17 m)
Became part of the U.S. June 15, 1836 (25th)
Governor Mike Beebe (D)
U.S. Senators John Boozman (R)
Mark Pryor (D)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/DST-5
Abbreviations AR, Ark. US-AR
Website www.arkansas.gov
Arkansas State symbols
Flag of Arkansas.svg
The Flag of Arkansas.

Animate insignia
Bird(s) Mockingbird
Butterfly Diana Fritillary
Flower(s) Apple blossom
Insect European honey bee
Mammal(s) White-tailed deer
Tree Loblolly Pine

Inanimate insignia
Beverage Milk
Dance Square Dance
Food South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato
Gemstone Diamond
Instrument Fiddle
Mineral Quartz
Rock Bauxite
Soil Stuttgart
Song(s) Arkansas (song),
Arkansas (You Run Deep In Me),
Oh, Arkansas,
The Arkansas Traveler
Tartan Arkansas Traveler Tartan

Route marker(s)
Arkansas Route Marker

State Quarter
Quarter of Arkansas
Released in 2003

Lists of United States state insignia

Arkansas, sometimes called the Land of Opportunity or The Natural State, is a state in the United States of America. Its capital and largest city is Little Rock. It has been estimated that around 3 million people live in Arkansas today.

History[change | edit source]

Arkansas became the 25th state to enter the Union in 1836. During the American Civil War, Arkansas was one of the Confederate states, however, it was the second state to be put back in to the U.S. in the Reconstruction.

Geography[change | edit source]

View from the summit of Petit Jean Mountain, in the Arkansas River Valley, from Mather Lodge in Petit Jean State Park.
Blanchard Springs Caverns in Stone County is a popular tourist destination.
The Buffalo National River, one of many attractions that give the state's nickname The Natural State.
Flatside Wilderness Area, Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas

Arkansas borders Louisiana to the south, Texas to the southwest, Oklahoma to the west, Missouri to the north, and Tennessee and Mississippi on the east. The United States Census Bureau classifies Arkansas as a southern state. The Mississippi River forms most of Arkansas's eastern border, except in Clay and Greene counties. There the St. Francis River forms the western boundary of the Missouri Bootheel.

Arkansas has many rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Arkansas has few natural lakes but many major reservoirs, including Bull Shoals Lake, Lake Ouachita, Greers Ferry Lake, Millwood Lake, Beaver Lake, Norfork Lake, DeGray Lake, and Lake Conway.[3]

Arkansas is home to many caves, such as Blanchard Springs Caverns. More than 43,000 Native American living, hunting and tool making sites have been catalogued by the State Archeologist. Arkansas is currently the only U.S. state in which diamonds are mined. This is done by members of the public with primitive digging tools for a small daily fee, not by commercial interests.[4][5]

Arkansas is home to a dozen Wilderness Areas totaling around 150,000 acres (610 km2). These areas are set aside for outdoor recreation and are open to hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. No vehicles are allowed in these areas.

Religion[change | edit source]

First Baptist Church, Magnolia

Arkansas, like most other Southern states, is part of the Bible Belt. It is mostly Protestant. The largest denominations by number of followers in 2000 were the Southern Baptist Convention with 665,307; the United Methodist Church with 179,383; the Roman Catholic Church with 115,967; and the American Baptist Association with 115,916.[6]

Education[change | edit source]

Education in Arkansas has historically been a major issue. It is a problem that continues to this day. Part of the problem has been low teacher salaries and small budgets for spending on students. Other problems have been not wanting tointegrate, refusal to teach evolution, and poor school facilities.

Arkansas has two major university systems: Arkansas State University System and University of Arkansas System. Other public institutions include Arkansas Tech University, Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, and University of Central Arkansas. It is also home to 11 private colleges and universities. This includes Hendrix College, one of the nation's top 100 liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report.[7]

Culture[change | edit source]

Arkansas is notable for its bauxite mines. Arkansas was also the first U.S. state where diamonds were found. Notable Arkansans include Bill Clinton, who was governor of Arkansas before he became the President of the United States, and Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart.

Attractions[change | edit source]

Arkansas is home to many areas protected by the National Park System. These include:[8]

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. "Resident Population Data". 2010.census.gov. http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/apportionment-dens-text.php. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Elevations and Distances in the United States". U.S Geological Survey. 29 April 2005. http://erg.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/elvadist/elvadist.html#Highest. Retrieved 2006-11-3.
  3. Smith, Richard M. (1989). The Atlas of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas Press. p. 25. ISBN 1557280479.
  4. "Crater of Diamonds: History of diamonds, diamond mining in Arkansas". Craterofdiamondsstatepark.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2010. http://www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com/history/. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  5. "US Diamond Mines – Diamond Mining in the United States". Geology.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2010. http://geology.com/gemstones/united-states-diamond-production.shtml. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  6. "The Association of Religion Data Archives | Maps & Reports". Thearda.com. http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/state/05_2000.asp. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  7. "National Liberal Arts College Rankings". U.S. News and World Report. 2012. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-liberal-arts-colleges. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
  8. "Arkansas". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/state/ar. Retrieved July 15, 2008.